Use of Ghosts to Change Victorian Society in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Use of Ghosts to Change Victorian Society in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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Use of Ghosts to Change Victorian Society in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

'A Christmas Carol' is a novel by Charles Dickens, written in the
Victorian era about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge. The book was written
to remind people that we should all be kinder and more generous
towards one another, and keep the spirit of Christmas all the year,
not only in the Christmas season.

Scrooge is a representation of most of Victorian society, and he is
used by Dickens as a literary device. He is described as "squeezing,
wrenching, grasping, scraping…" a reflection on the Victorians, many
of whom were selfish and did not care to help those less fortunate
than themselves. In Scrooge's own words, "Are there no prisons?"; "Are
there no workhouses?" Scrooge believed that those people who could not
afford to live independently should go to these establishments, a view
held by many Victorians. Charles Dickens recognised that this attitude
towards those in need was morally unacceptable.

'A Christmas Carol' was written in instalments which were published
monthly in a magazine. His intention was that the many readers of the
magazine would comprehend and take note of the messages he tried to
deliver in his writing. By writing the novel in instalments Dickens
managed to strike a good percentage of his target audience, who were
in particular the upper classes who could afford to buy luxury items
such as magazines.

As every reader would be reading each instalment at about the same
period, it provided a stimulus that people could unite in and discuss,
so that Dickens' ideas would be passed not only to the readers of the
magazine but also to ...

... middle of paper ...

specifies the genre of the novel by writing "Once upon a time,"
however Dickens' fairy tale is not one to be forgotten when put down.
Instead, he intended his readers to reconsider their own lives, and
see if they could make the same sorts of changes that Scrooge did, not
only in Victorian Society, but for as long into the future as "A
Christmas Carol" is read. A pun on ghostly spirits and alcoholic
spirits informs readers that Scrooge "had no further intercourse with
Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle." As
teetotallers refrain from all alcohol, so did Scrooge abstain from
further ghostly emissaries? For the Ghost's mission had been
accomplished: Scrooge keeps Christmas, and he keeps it well. "May that
be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God
Bless Us, Every One!"

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